A pool skimmer is one of the most important pieces of equipment for any swimming pool. The skimmer faceplate resides in the skimmer box, which is integral in cleaning pools – keeping it clean and debris-free. Here are some insights to enlighten you about pool skimmer faceplates and its importance to pool maintenance.
What a Pool Skimmer Face Plate Does
The skimmer faceplate (also called the skimmer weir) is located at the water line of the pool and connects to the skimmer box. When water flows through the skimmer, the faceplate allows debris and leaves floating on the surface to be pulled into the skimmer basket. This prevents debris from sinking to the bottom of the pool or clogging up the filtration system.
Some key functions of the skimmer faceplate include:
- Allows water to be drawn into the skimmer from the waterline
- Creates a current that pulls surface debris and leaves into the skimmer basket
- Adjusts the skimming action based on fluctuations in the water level
- Prevents debris from bypassing the skimmer and sinking to the bottom
Pros of Having a Skimmer
A pool skimmer provides several key benefits that improve water quality and make maintenance easier. When operating properly, pool skimmers create ideal conditions for a clean, clear pool. Some of the top advantages of having a pool skimmer include:
Improves Water Circulation
Skimmers create currents that promote water movement and flow into the filtration system. The water will be cleaner and clearer due to the pool’s enhanced circulation throughout the entire pool.
Enhances Debris Removal
Skimmers actively pull leaves, bugs, dust, pollen and other debris from the water’s surface before it can sink and decay on the pool floor – which eventually reduces maintenance operations.
By capturing all types of debris in the skimmer basket, it prevents leaves, twigs, and other matter from clogging up the pump basket, pipes, filters, and main drains. Avoid spending extra time and money on repairs with a good quality skimmer.
Allows for Self-Cleaning
The motion of the water constantly flowing into the skimmer causes it to essentially self-clean. This reduces the need for manual cleaning of the skimmer.
Improves Chemical Distribution
With improved circulation from the skimmer, pool chemicals spread more evenly, ensuring proper sanitation.
Reduces Algae Growth
Cons of Not Having a Skimmer
The absence of a skimmer in a swimming pool can lead to some detrimental effects. Without the surface skimming action, debris and contaminants accumulate, water quality suffers, and more maintenance is required. Some drawbacks of not having a pool skimmer include:
Poor Water Clarity
Lack of surface skimming allows all types of debris to sink and decay in the pool, turning the water cloudy, green and unhygienic.
Leaves, sticks, and other debris that sinks to the bottom can get sucked into the main drain and clog pumps, filters, and pipes. This can lead to breakdowns.
More Manual Cleaning
No skimming action means all surface debris must be manually removed with a net or vacuum. This takes considerably more time and effort.
Without a skimmer, chemicals must work much harder to keep algae, bacteria, and contaminants at bay. Hence, more chemicals are needed to maintain the cleanliness of the pool.
Debris on the pool floor can cling to swimmers or clog drain covers, posing potential injury/entrapment risks.
Growth of Biofilm
Sinking debris promotes biofilm growth on pool surfaces, leading to potential health issues.
Types of Pools That Require Skimmers
The vast majority of residential and commercial swimming pools benefit greatly from having a skimmer as part of the filtration system. Skimmers provide surface skimming that removes contaminants and improves circulation. Only very small or very basic pools can potentially get by without a skimmer.
In-Ground Concrete/Gunite Pools
Concrete or gunite in-ground pools are the most popular type of residential pool. The concrete is molded and shaped, then finished with a smooth surface coating. These pools need robust filtration to handle the large volume of water. Skimmers are absolutely essential for these pools.
In-Ground Vinyl Liner Pools
Vinyl liner pools have gained popularity as a more affordable in-ground pool option. Here, vinyl sheets are placed into a rectangular excavated hole and finished with decorative tile and coping. Skimmers help keep the vinyl liner clean and free of sunken debris.
Fiberglass pools are pre-fabricated from molded fiberglass and installed onto a prepared site. Their smooth sides can make debris removal challenging without a skimmer. Most fiberglass pool models include built-in skimmers.
Both metal-frame and inflatable above-ground pools require skimmers to compensate for their shallow depth and limited filtration capacity. Inflatable pools may only accommodate smaller, low-profile skimmers.
Even natural swimming ponds often incorporate skimmers to help remove debris naturally.
Skimmer Plates – Answers to Common Questions
What size skimmer plate do I need?
The skimmer plate size depends on the model of your skimmer. Measure the opening in the skimmer throat where the plate sits to get the correct dimensions. Plates are typically interchangeable between major skimmer brands.
How often should the skimmer basket be emptied?
In peak swim season, empty the skimmer basket daily. During lighter use, twice a week is usually sufficient. If debris is overflowing, empty more frequently.
How can I keep my skimmer performing optimally?
Check that the skimmer plate sits flush at water level. Clean out the skimmer throat and basket regularly. Ensure debris is not restricting the skimmer opening. Replace a damaged skimmer plate immediately.
Make Swimming Clean, Safe and Enjoyable with Skimming
Your pool’s skimmer faceplate is a crucial component that ensures proper water filtration and clarity. However, skimmer faceplates endure damage from debris and weather over time. Replacing worn pool skimmer faceplates through AquaGuard 5000 keeps your water sparkling clean. We provide pool owners top-quality skimmer faceplate products for fuss-free repairs. Investing in new skimmer faceplates from leading brands saves money compared to costly whole-system replacements down the road. Contact AquaGuard 5000 today for essential pool supplies that simplify maintenance.